the concept would effectively relieve airport/airspace capacity problems and reduce airport noise impacts nationwide at a
reasonable cost. Opponents of the concept contend that wayports would have limited sources of operating revenue, may be difficult
to administer and may likely contribute to growth in the vicinity of the wayport, resulting in congestion and noise problems
initially meant to be avoided.
Conceptually, each of these wayports would be used primarily as a location at which passengers and cargo may
be transferred between connecting flights or air carriers engaged in air commerce, but it does not prohibit origin-destination
(O&D) passengers and, in fact, would seek all kinds of revenue-producing activities.
Each wayport would
be intended to serve the air transportation needs of a general region of the country in which the wayport is located,
and to reduce congestion of the national air transportation system. It is a concept that would provide nationwide by-pass capability to air transportation as do Interstate Highways
for ground transportation.
Wayports are intended to serve all activities that do not have to be located at
congested airports including cargo, mail, general aviation, and possibly some O&D passengers. They would be constructed
as a secondary set of airports that use essentially unrestricted airspace and inexpensive rural land with no man-made barriers
to fight. Adequate inexpensive land needs to be available to ensure needed noise buffer zones and the ability to maintain
24-hour-a-day operations in areas with favorable flying weather, light population density, political acceptance and rail/highway
Conceptually, each wayport would act:
as a domestic transfer passenger hub for other
congested airports in its general region of the country or continent;
as an international long-haul passenger transfer
airport for its region;
as a national and international transfer airport for cargo, mail, express and small package
as an O&D airport for communities within some 75 miles; and
as a centralized major maintenance
Wayport development could be
staged at each location on an as-needed basis to meet evolving growth, provided that land is set aside for needed future airport
capacity and facilities sufficiently large to handle all new generations of aircraft. Land set-asides for these future wayport
uses would require consideration of aircraft regardless of size, speed, noise characteristics, or special ground fuel handling
such as refrigerated fuels. The wayport concept contemplates planning now for future airports to marshal as much capacity
as possible from present day airports.
The FAA is currently studying the wayport concept, with consideration being
given to variations of the concept discussed above. The Secretary of Transportation and Administrator of FAA have not formalized
their position on this concept, but Federal funds have been provided to study sites considering construction of air carrier
airports at new, underutilized and military locations. Whether such sites become wayports is not ripe for decision at this
Wayports have been considered as an alternative to the D/FW Airport expansion project. However, such airports
are only in the infancy of planning, and knowledge of studies underway is mostly limited to articles in published periodicals.
Conceptual planning for wayports in Texas are known to exist in Montague County and Midland. Other known locations considering
wayports include Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Dakota, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.
The wayport concept, as applied to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, arguably could have detrimental impacts on the
level of air service offered to residents, especially in the area of available non-stop services. Non-stop and frequent service
is provided to Metroplex area residents to all major markets in the U.S. primarily due to the large number of connecting passengers
using D/FW Airport's hub airlines. International service at D/FW is also heavily dependent and supported by the connecting
passenger.If the wayports concept were applied to the region and a remote wayport became the new connecting airport, substantial
reductions in non-stop services and international services at D/FW Airport could result. This situation could reduce the attractiveness
and competitive advantage the metroplex area currently enjoys for new and expanded business and economic development. Loss
of direct employment on the airport could occur.
Even if the wayport is adopted and implemented, the construction
of a wayport in the time period necessary to meet existing and projected capacity deficiencies at D/FW Airport is not considered
to be a viable solution for the same reasons as mentioned in Section 220.127.116.11. These factors are the cost of such a facility
and the amount of time necessary to construct the facility. The cost to construct a wayport is currently estimated to be approximately
$1 Billion. The cost to construct runways 16/34 East and 16/34 West, excluding mitigation, is estimated to be 205.5 million.
Serious capacity problems would be experienced at D/FW Airport in the 10-year minimum time frame estimated to open a fully
operational wayport. In this same time frame, Runway 16/34 East(projected to be opened in 1992), and Runway 16/34 West (projected
to be opened in 1997), would already be benefiting the region and the National Aviation System by providing needed capacity
at D/FW Airport.
Because the planning efforts for wayports are in their infancy, they are considered not ripe for
decision-making at this time. Therefore, it is concluded that wayports are not a viable alternative for further study in the
AUTHOR OF WAYPORTS COMMENTS CONFIRMING FAA
APPROVAL OF FEIS FOR DFW SUPPORTS THE CHARGE THAT FAA HAS NOT COMPLIED WITH FEDERAL LAW IN APPROVING FEIS'S SINCE 1992.
Federal Environmental Law requires airport
proponents to look at all reasonable and feasible alternatives or FAA cannot even review an Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) for approval. FAA described Wayports as a reasonable and feasible alternativeto the two new
runways at DFW in 1992 as shown above. Wayports was not considered viablebecause the new runways could be built
quicker at less price but that did not affect the reasonableness or feasibility of Wayports. Wayports were a reasonable
and feasible alternative at DFW and should have been included in subsequent EIS's approved for new runways
all over the U.S. Merely because an alternative is not viable in one location does not mean it is not reasonable, feasible and viable
in other locations. Viable depends on magnitude, cost and timing.
The FEIS says wayports would serve “primarily”
as connecting points and have limited sources of revenue. All hub and spoke airports are used “primarily”for
connections with several having connections as high as 70%-80% for years. The FEIS does not define “primarily”and
what levels of connecting passengers would establish this classification. These airports have prospered with these high percentages
of connections which is about where a wayport would initially operate.
Some hub and spoke airports have recently
lost all connections or had them reduced due to airline economics. St. Louis and Pittsburgh lost their connecting service.
Delta ceased using D/FW as a connecting hub which involved a substantial number of passengers. The FEIS says a wayport
would cause a similar reduction but without a wayport, D/FW, STL and PITT still are attractive and financially
The FEIS confirms that Wayports could work based on the comment that says: "If the wayports
concept were applied to the region and a remote wayport became the new connecting airport, substantial reductions in non-stop
services and international services at D/FW Airport could result. This situation could reduce the attractiveness and competitive
advantage the metroplex area currently enjoys for new and expanded business and economic development. Loss of direct employment
on the airport could occur.
says wayports would have limited sources of operating revenue but FAA has never made in-depth studies to address this issue.
Both Charlotte and Cincinnati had over 80% connections with less than 20% O&D. Both were successful
until the airlines decided to consolidate connections and eliminate or reduce hubs to be competitive with low cost
and regional airlines. If the airlines can close hubs at Pittsburgh and St. Louis, reduce connections at DFW, Charlotte
and Cincinnati they can do this at O"Hare, Atlanta and other hubs to reduce noise, air pollution and ground congestion
that emits pollution the same as aircraft congestion. Where did the airlines relocate connections that
were done at St. Louis and Pittsburgh? It appears to be Chicago and Philadelphia. Most large hubs like Atlanta have over 65%
connections. Wayports would have the same source of revenues such as landing fees, terminal leases and concessions that
existing connecting airports have but would need less operating revenue because they have less total enplanements when opened.
Wayports could create new Airport Cities giving less taxes, better schools, less congestion, less crime among other benefits.
Rail systems would provide access from urban areas. FAA's assertion
about revenues is further contradicted by the statements in the FEIS that "wayports would likely contribute
to growth in the vicinity of the wayport” and that “wayports would seek all kinds of revenue
producing activities”.Revenue activities would include cargo, general aviation, commercial space program
and commercial development of wayport property since a wayport would own thousands of acres of buffer land that is compatible
with noise and land use programs. Growth can easily be managed at new sites in undeveloped areas. Through the fence access
by developers is now possible. Other pages on this website need to be read to get the full understanding of wayports.
The FEIS says wayports “would be difficult to administer”which is not further
defined. A wayport would have the same activities and management requirements as any other airport. In fact, it
would be easier to administer a wayport since it would not be faced with all the opposition and access problems that inner
city airports put up with.